Best board games for Christmas

Family board game session

As those long nights draw near, you're probably looking for something to keep the family entertained while you're all cooped up indoors. While we can't promise there will be no arguments once the games begin, our collection of Mumsnetter recommendations should make choosing which game to play easier from the get-go

The best classic board games

We've definitely all heard of them before, and there's a reason they've stayed so popular.

Family Trivial Pursuit, £18.99 (was £32.99)

Family Trivial Pursuit, £18.99 (was £32.99)

If Trivial Pursuit brings back nostalgic family memories but your kids are still a bit young, take a look at this Junior version.

“We bought family Trivial Pursuit recently and even I, self confessed loather of board games, have enjoyed it. High praise indeed. Last game was with grandparents and I nearly died laughing! (Our kids are 6 and 10 if that helps – grandparents are 66 and 69!)” SingingSands

“Family Trivial Pursuit is brilliant! Our 8 year old and 6 year old love it. We adapt the questions if the topics are completely outside their frame of reference but they surprise us with what they do know.” CreamCrackerundertheSettee

Age range: 8+
Number of players: 2 – 6

Buy now from Amazon

Monopoly Deal, £8.49

Monopoly Deal, £8.49

Perfect if you’re not ready for all-out Monopoly but are considering introducing it to the family gently, this version is over so much faster.

“Monopoly Deal is great – a shorter version of Monopoly played with cards – so also handy for taking when travelling” spababe

Age range: 8+
Number of players: 2 – 5

Buy now from Amazon

The best strategy games

If you're fed up of the luckiest family members winning, strategy games reward the hard-working players.

Hey That's My Fish, £9.99

Hey That's My Fish, £9.99

This game is all about planning ahead – you need to collect as many fish as possible and make sure your penguins don't go hungry.

“Hey that's my fish is awesome. Rules are easy to learn. Strategy and thinking ahead very important to make sure your penguin isn't stuck on an iceberg with no fish. It's relatively cheap for a proper board game too. Extra bonus is it actually works well with just two if someone needs to toddler wrangle. Also – cute penguin figurines!” AlbusPercival

Age range: 8+
Number of players: 2 -4

Buy now from Amazon

The best games for the whole family

Because we all know it can be tricky to keep them all entertained (and in one place) at the same time.

Ticket to Ride, £32.60 (was £39.99)

Ticket to Ride, £32.60 (was £39.99)

This one is an absolute winner across MN – it's certainly worth persevering with the tricky rulebook. And if you already like this game but are getting fed up of the repetitive strategies of your opponents, then fear not – adding expansion packs means you can take a trip around a whole different part of the world.

“The novel that is the rule book on Ticket to Ride put us off for nearly a whole year after buying it, but it's now one of our favourite family games, as well as being fun for two people. It's worth persisting.” brightandsunnyday

“We've just played Ticket to Ride – the Asia expansion. It changed the game vs the Europe one, mostly because we don't know the map, but also because there is no 8 train route which changed the stategy of DD2 who normally wins. I love it when a familiar game can be changed by an expansion, I might consider getting the USA set next.” frenchfancy

Age range: 8+
Number of players: 2 – 5

Buy now from Amazon

Dixit, £24.75 (was £29.99)

Dixit, £24.75 (was £29.99)

Ok – so this is maybe more of a card game, but still a great way to get the whole family sitting down together. This one involves creating stories from the pictures on the cards you are dealt, causing much hilarity especially when playing with the youngest of competitors.

“So far I like Dixit best, it was a great hit with all the family, although MIL couldn't quite grasp the concept which lead to much hilarity among the younger ones. Just looking at the artwork was entertainment enough for most.” fresta

“Love Dixit, even though DD trounces me regularly.” WuTangFlan

Age range: 6+
Number of players: 3 – 6

Buy now from Amazon

Animal Upon Animal, £22.50

Animal Upon Animal, £22.50

OK, OK – not technically a board game, but a really great way to get children of all ages to join in – and who doesn't enjoy trying to balance tiny animals one on top of the other?

“For totally silly fun, we bought Animal Upon Animal a couple of years ago after I saw a recommendation on here. It's been great and is very handy when you have mixed groups in terms of age or competitiveness!” TranquilityofSolitude

Age range: 4+
Number of players: 2 – 4

Buy now from Amazon

The best board games for every age

We know it can be tricky to pitch a game which is just right for their age – here are Mumsnetters' favourite games for all ages:

Board games for the under 5s:

Shopping List, £5.45 (was £7.73)

Shopping List, £5.45 (was £7.73)

Hailed on MN as a surefire boredom-banisher, we can't promise you'll ever be allowed to get rid of this one, however old they get.

“Shopping List was favourite by far here. Even though they’re much older now, that’s the only Orchard Game they won’t let me give to charity! They also liked Bus Stop and Pop To The Shops (brilliant for learning about handling money).” FairyPenguin

“Definitely Orchard Games, both mine adored them all especially 'Shopping List' where you have to collect all items in your list and place on your trolley shaped board. DS gets it out quietly and plays it by himself sometimes even now!” CremeBrulee

Age range: 3+
Number of players: 2 – 4

Buy now from Amazon

Board games for ages 6 – 10:

Monopoly Junior, £13.49 (was £16.99)

Monopoly Junior, £13.49 (was £16.99)

Not ready for mammoth Monopoly sessions yet? This specially-created version may ease you all in a little more gently.

“Monopoly Junior – the one with the fun fair dodgems on the front. Virtually the same as the real monopoly but each game only lasts 20 minutes.” rightwhine

Age range: 5+
Number of players: 2 – 4

Buy now from Amazon

Board games for teenagers:

Pandemic, £29.99

Pandemic, £29.99

Certainly not for the fainthearted, this one is all about working together – there's no one champion, you either all win or all lose.

“Pandemic can be a bit tricky at first but lots of fun and a great way to work together as a family.” woolsocks

“My OH has just got us into playing co-operative board games, where you play together and either all win or all lose. The one he's got is called Pandemic – you work as a team to try and control global outbreaks of disease. It's great fun; it's not easy to win!” wanderingcloud

Age range: 8+
Number of players: 2 – 4

Buy now from Amazon

Labyrinth, £17.99 (was £24.59)

Labyrinth, £17.99 (was £24.59)

Take turns to make your way around this ever-changing board in search of treasure.

“DD aged 10 likes The Magic Labyrinth, she's has a really good memory and enjoys beating everyone else. Easy to understand and easy rules so kids can play by themselves.” fresta

“It's great. Quick set up, only a few rules to learn and they're easy to learn. For a quick game we just deal four cards each, rather than dividing the whole pack. My DSs are 9 and 12 and both loved it. I loved it a lot as I kicked their arses at it!” OvO

Age range: 8+
Number of players: 2 – 4

Buy now from Amazon

The best two player board games

Whether it's date night or you're spending a little one-on-one time with one of the kids, these games are perfect for two players.

221B Baker Street, £18.99 (was £24)

221B Baker Street, £18.99 (was £24)

Although this game is, of course, a popular one for the whole family, it's also great for just two players to tackle.

“We really like 221B Baker Street, it's a lot like Cluedo. We've only ever played it two player and it works well.” Asmadasmax

Age range: 10+
Number of players: 2 – 6

Buy now from Amazon

Bananagrams, £7.60 (was £15.99)

Bananagrams, £7.60 (was £15.99)

Disclaimer: You may enjoy this game so much you end up playing it without the kids.

“We like Bananagrams. Scrabble-like but much faster pace and everyone can play to their level.” IAmAPaleontologist

“If you like wordy games, Bananagrams is great. Dh and I play on holiday a lot. Bit like scrabble with no board! Travels well with tiles in zip up case.” gerbo

“Bananagrams! The letters come in a cute banana-shaped bag and the rules are full of terrible banana puns.” tarheelbaby

Age range: 7+
Number of players: 1 – 8

Buy now from Amazon

The best board games for travel

Because it isn't always practical to pack a monopoly board.

Dobble, £9 (was £12.99)

Dobble, £9 (was £12.99)

If you've not heard of Dobble yet, you're late to the party – this game can have anywhere from two to eight players, and is easily accessible for any age (and fits snugly into your handbag for entertainment wherever you are).

“Dobble is brilliant for any age and is small which is a winner for me!” lalaloopyhead

“Was going to suggest Dobble, but somebody else beat me to it! Really simple concept, but great for all ages.” EasilyDistracted77

Age range: 6+
Number of players: 2 – 8

Buy now from Amazon

Sushi Go, £14.99

Sushi Go, £14.99

Another speedy card game, perfect for when you're on-the-go (or for packing up and taking to Grandma's house).

“Sushi Go is fab, 2-5 people can play, all ages. My eight-year-old picked it up in a couple of minutes. The rules are simple, and scores are written on the cards so there's nothing to remember.” PhilODox

Age range: 8+
Number of players: 2 – 5

Buy now from Gamewright

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